Battle lines drawn
ARCADIA, Calif. -- The longer Ten Most Wanted waits in the gate, the more anxious he can get, so his trainer and co-owner, Wally Dollase, was relieved on Wednesday when Ten Most Wanted drew the outside post in Saturday's $4 million Breeders' Cup Classic, highlight of the $14 million World Thoroughbred Championships program at Santa Anita.
A field of 10, as expected, was entered in the 1 1/4-mile Classic. With a run to the first turn of almost five furlongs, Ten Most Wanted should be able to get into whatever position jockey Pat Day desires early in the race.
Dollase was willing to sacrifice a bit of lost ground, being as Ten Most Wanted prefers to rally outside horses and can get antsy awaiting the start.
"I love the post," Dollase said. "He can get very anxious in the gate. He's proven that before. He won't be in the gate too long this time. He should be nice and relaxed when he comes out."
Ten Most Wanted has won the Travers Stakes and Super Derby in his last two starts. A victory in the Classic would made a compelling case for Ten Most Wanted to be voted the Eclipse Award at least as champion 3-year-old male, since neither Empire Maker nor Funny Cide, the Triple Crown race winners, has defeated older horses this year.
Funny Cide, of course, will have the same chance as Ten Most Wanted to beat older horses, since he, too, is in the Classic. He drew post 4.
Medaglia d'Oro, whose three victories this year include the Strub Stakes at Santa Anita, was made the 3-1 favorite by Santa Anita's linemaker, Jeff Tufts. He drew post 8. Perfect Drift, whose biggest victory this year came when he defeated Mineshaft in the Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs, is the second choice at 7-2. A victory by either Medaglia d'Oro or Perfect Drift could make him Horse of the Year.
The Classic is the last of eight Breeders' Cup races that will be run on Saturday.